Ingrid Dias Schwantes Mueller
Ingrid Mueller, a singer, pianist, and conductor, has taught music for over forty years in both public school and Seventh-day Adventist education systems. A highly regarded studio teacher in both piano and voice, she also performed in recitals for thirty years. She has been active as a church musician for over 35 years.
Ingrid was born in Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of two daughters of Siegfried J. and Maria Dias Schwantes. She started piano lessons at age three and by age nine was giving concerts at the Adventist Seminary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where her father was a professor and pastor of the church. She studied piano with her great-aunt, Julieta Dias de Silva, an experience that inspired her then and remains a treasured memory.
When Ingrid was twelve, the family relocated to the United States, where she studied piano under Reynaldo Reyes, an adjunct professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. While attending Greater Baltimore Academy, she gave three recitals.
In 1962 her father, who had just completed a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, was invited to teach at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University. She enrolled at the college at age sixteen as a music education major with an emphasis in piano. She also started taking voice lessons and in her sophomore year changed from piano to voice as her primary performance area, with Gerald Ferguson as her voice teacher.
Following completion of a B.Mus. in 1966 at age twenty and a marriage to John Wesley Row that summer, she started teaching in a junior high school in nearby Niles, Michigan. From 1968 to 1974, she taught classroom music and directed choirs at the elementary and junior high level in the Benton Harbor school system.
She completed an M.Mus. in conducting and vocal pedagogy at AU in 1975, taking voice lessons from Rudolf Strukoff, and then accepted a position at Hinsdale Junior Academy, where she taught from 1976 until 1985, when she married Paul Mueller. She taught classroom music for two more years in the Woodridge, Illinois, school system and then established a private voice and piano studio. She continues to teach at home and at three local high schools.
Mueller is now in her 25th year of studio teaching, an experience she has found most rewarding. She has prepared many students who have won in competitions sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Additionally, a large number of her students have been selected to participate in elementary to college level honors choirs at both regional and national American Choral Directors' Association (ACDA) conferences. Several of her students have pursued music studies after leaving her studio and are currently teaching throughout the U.S. and performing in opera houses and musical theater.
Mueller gave numerous voice and piano recitals in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, performing in Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, Mexico, and throughout the U.S. She has also been active as a church musician since the mid-1960s, serving in both Seventh-day Adventist and other Christian churches. Most recently, she served in the United Methodist churches in Hinsdale (1995-2002) and Woodridge (2003-present), where she has conducted choirs and handbell groups and played piano and organ.
Mueller recently wrote:
The joy of seeing students begin to understand and come to love music is thrilling. The most fulfilling experience of being a musician is giving it away both in teaching and performing. I thank God for the gift of music and the ability to share it with others.
Source: Biography Information Sheet completed by Ingrid Schwantes Mueller, February 2011.